Teenager detained for plotting terrorist attack on UK music festival

The teenager, who cannot be identified because of his age, pleaded not guilty but was convicted in February of the charge of preparing a terrorist act.
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 13:24 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 13:24 IST

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London: A British teenager who planned a terrorist attack on the Isle of Wight music festival was sentenced to seven years in detention on Monday.

The 16-year-old had converted to Islam and developed what the sentencing judge, Maura McGowan, described as "a corrupted form" of the religion, believing it was justified to kill those he felt insulted his faith.

The teenager, who cannot be identified because of his age, pleaded not guilty but was convicted in February of the charge of preparing a terrorist act.

He was also found guilty of the offences of disseminating terrorist publications and possession of a bladed article after a trial at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court in London.

Jurors were told the teenager had researched recent major militant attacks ahead of the June 2022 festival on the Isle of Wight, which lies off the south coast of England.

Prosecutors said the teenager later changed his plans to focus on a potential knife attack before he was arrested in July 2022.

Detective Chief Superintendent Olly Wright, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said in a statement: "We know that terrorist groups use their toxic rhetoric to try exploit vulnerable people."

"This case was particularly concerning because a teenager had gone so far as taking active steps to prepare for an attack. Thanks to a swift response we were able to stop him."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last month said that Britain's multi-ethnic democracy was being undermined by both Islamist and far-right extremists and called for a tougher approach to policing protests after a rise in hate speech and criminality.

Britain has suffered a number of militant attacks in recent years, including a deadly 2017 suicide bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande pop concert in Manchester.

Lawyers representing more than 250 injured survivors said this weekend that they had filed a legal case against Britain's domestic MI5 spy agency over the attack.

Ken McCallum, MI5's Director General, had previously apologised for his service having missed an opportunity to prevent the bombing.

Published 15 April 2024, 13:24 IST

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